Dhruv Koul shares his in-game reactions, thoughts and observations from the Bears-Packers game at Lambeau Field on Sunday Night Football.  Follow him on Twitter @DhruvKoul to continue the conversation.

GREEN BAY, Wis. — After a lukewarm, yet very real, 5-1 start, the Chicago Bears completely imploded over the last month to drop to 5-5.  They found themselves on the outside of the NFC playoff picture coming into this massive showdown against the Green Bay Packers — a must-win if there ever was one for this Bears season, and the Ryan Pace-Matt Nagy regime.

Heading into the bye week after a terrible, prime time loss to Minnesota at Soldier Field (which was the lackluster debut of Bill Lazor as play caller), Nagy and his staff talked about the self-scouting they performed this week.  It included a switch back to Mitch Trubisky to start as the QB:

Nagy repeatedly said any and all changes were “on the table” in an effort to right this ship.  Win, and the Bears are back in the seventh playoff spot following Arizona’s loss today in New England.  Lose?  And things get murky quickly…

A solid Packers team, at home, in prime time, at full health against these reeling Bears?  The task was daunting, to say the least.

In the end, the Bears did what they could least afford to do — get blown out in prime time against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.  This is no doubt a Marc Trestman-esque result.  It’s the end of the line for Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy.

I shared my in-game reactions, thoughts and observations from the game below.  Follow me on Twitter @DhruvKoul to continue the conversation.

Thoughts and Observations

1.  (PRE-GAME) Well, the Bears are already behind the 8-ball before this game even starts — Akiem Hicks, who suffered a hamstring injury late in the loss to the Vikings, is inactive.  That is brutal for a team going against an excellent offensive line, an excellent RB stable, and excellent weapons.

Meanwhile, a bit of interesting news regarding the Bears’ much-maligned offensive line:

For a team that self-scouted so deeply during the bye week, these changes on the OL do, in theory, improve it significantly.  Let’s see how much it helps Mitch Trubisky and the running game.

2.  So, not an ideal start to this game.  The Packers took the opening kickoff and marched right down the field for a touchdown — converting a couple of key third downs and, in general, finding very little resistance from the Bears’ defense.  Chuck Pagano dropped Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn in coverage a couple times (weird), and Aaron Rodgers made them pay.

The Bears’ first offensive drive featured a touchdown that should’ve been, but wasn’t.  David Montgomery took the second play from scrimmage 57 yards to the Packers’ 8-yard line, but Cole Kmet dropped a would-be TD, as did Allen Robinson, and the Bears settled for a FG — 6-3, Packers.  Can’t miss out on such opportunities…

3.  The Packers have put Davante Adams in the slot against Buster Skrine and are tearing the Bears apart.  This is too easy.

4.  The Bears’ second drive was coming along well, and then Mitch Trubisky went all Mitch Trubisky and threw a deep ball to Darnell Mooney in the end zone (deep shot) — and he completed the pass to Darnell ….. Savage of Green Bay.  A double-covered Mooney had no chance on a ball that overshot him, and it ruined a decent drive.

5.  It’s 20-3 with four minutes left near halftime, and the Bears’ defense has had absolutely no answers for Green Bay on offense.  Every third down, fourth downs, you name it.  It’s all working for the Packers.

6.  A sad note about Chuck Pagano, since we’re on this topic:

7.  Trubisky sacked and stripped (missed a facemask call on him) after a bad holding call removed a Bears first down.  The fumble was returned for a TD.  It’s 27-3, Packers.

The Bears have been on the short-end of some poor calls from the referees tonight, but their play has been subpar.  I guess when you’re not a good team, you don’t get calls!

8.  The Bears did get a touchdown before halftime with a nice drive, kept alive by a PI in the end zone.  It was 27-10 at halftime, but the Bears’ first drive of the third quarter, Trubisky ran out of bounds for a loss (why?) and was sacked on third down.  Bears lose their opportunity to try to sandwich two scores around halftime and make this a game again.

9.  After the Bears forced Green Bay’s first punt of the night, the Bears’ next offensive possession went like this:

  • Trubisky fumbles the exchange on a zone-read (his fault).
  • An incomplete pass on a miscommunication with a WR.
  • An INT into triple coverage.  Whew.

10.  Eddie Jackson got demolished by Robert Tonyan en route to another Green Bay touchdown.  It’s 34-10.

11.  41-10 after the defense failed to tackle Jamaal Williams.  I should clarify — chose not to.

12.  With the above point clear — the Bears’ defense (and team) has quit, this is a real thought worth considering.

I’ve got nothing else for you, folks.  This was the one outcome Nagy & Co. couldn’t afford — a prime time embarrassment against the Packers with the defense showing the nation that they’ve quit.  It’s over.

13.  The Bears head home to Soldier Field next week to take on the Detroit Lions.  The Lions, in a bit of a free fall, just cleaned house after their Thanksgiving blowout loss to the Houston Texans — Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia were fired, with Darrell Bevell taking over as the interim coach.  Never underestimate how much the in-season firing of a horrific coach like Patricia can inspire a talented roster — especially one that has immense talent on offense.  Let the spiral continue:

Early prediction:  Lions 34, Bears 13.